taking a break from working on herbal roots to write for this month's theme for herbal blog party which is the weeds of summer, weeds we love to love and that others love to hate which is being hosted by darcy blue of gaia's gifts. you can go over to her blog for a list of blogs that are participating in this month's party!
there are so many great weeds to choose from, i had a hard time focusing on one! i started to write about my top 6 favorite weeds: plantain, dandelion, burdock, nettles, red clover and self heal but when i started writing about self heal, i realized, this was the herb i needed to tell you about because all the other herbs have been covered a lot already while self heal is left out in the cold!
i thought i had a picture of it in bloom, but i haven't been able to find it. self heal doesn't bloom until mid july so i still have a few weeks before i can capture her in bloom.
self heal, or heal all, prunella vulgaris, is a sweet timid herb i find growing at the back of our property. i dug up a bunch and moved it into my herb garden so i could watch her cycle of life more closely. self heal is in the mint family, so those of you growing mint knows what a 'weed' she can be! self heal is great to have around, just look at her long list of actions: alterative, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, stomachic, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary! it's like having a built in first aid kit all in one plant. pretty amazing. what does all that mean? essentially, this means self heal can be used to treat all sorts of viruses and bacteria, kills germs, lower fevers without normally lowering body temperature, relieve spasms, drying, help upset stomachs, flush out the bladder and kidneys, lower blood pressure, tone, worm and stop bleeding.
self heal is effective for most internal ailments and also good for external wounds. studies have been done on an extract of the plant being used to inhibit HIV virus as well as showing promise in treating herpes, cancer, AIDS, diabetes and many other maladies. clinical studies have shown it to have an antibacterial action which inhibits the growth of pseudomonas, bacillus typhi, e. coli and mycobacterium tuberculi. traditionally, self heal has been used as an alternative medicine internally and externally as an antibiotic and for hard to heal wounds and diseases.
as an infusion, self heal works wonders for treating fevers, diarrhea, sore mouth and throat, internall bleeding and weaknessness of the liver and heart. the tea is very pleasant tasting which makes it easy to give to children as well.
this little herb which i'm just getting to know is definitely a keeper in my book!